Telecommuting - A New Direction for Business?

Trends in business change every day. One trend that appears to be gaining momentum is telecommuting, but is it a trend at all? There are plenty of opinions around whether telecommuting is good for business or not. Some of the questions raised are, “Will it make employees more productive? Will they be happier, lonelier, more connected or less? What are the benefits to the company?” These are all issues to consider when deciding if telecommuting is a good fit for your company’s culture.

There are some great benefits to telecommuting.  We’ve given you several pros and cons to think about below:

Pros

  • Telecommuters work longer hours, as they aren’t wasting time commuting.
  • Telecommuters are less stressed when working in the comfort of their own home.
  • Telecommuters can adjust their working hours around their lives and the hours they are most productive - even if that is at three a.m.
  • Telecommuting is fantastic for those who do not thrive in the typical structured nine-to-five work environment.
  • Self-reliance and time management skills are encouraged by telecommuting.
  • Employers can hire highly skilled individuals without having to pay for moving costs.
  • Telecommuting can save the employee and employer money.

Consthe other side of the coin

  • Telecommuting can lead to burnout especially for those with poor time management skills, which in turn contributes to resentment of the company.
  • A lack of socialization for individuals who crave social interaction can bring about depression and loneliness.
  • Telecommuting can result in a reduction in motivation, as there is not a physical tie to the rest of the team.
  • Telecommuting can lead to a break down in communication due to distance.
  • Setting up a home office effectively can take more time than setting up in-office.

For both manager and employee, successful telecommuting takes strong communication, time management skills, and clarity of job responsibilities. We are seeing more and more people desiring an independent working environment. But in the end, whether telecommuting will work or not, depend on the company’s culture and the employees’ mindset. Tell us what you think; will telecommuting be the way most businesses are organized in the future or will it fade out?